One in three borrow money to pay rent

According to new figures by hoping charity Shelter, half a million low earners have had to borrow money to pay their rent during the past year.

Reported on in the Guardian, the data shows that a large number of private renters were having to resort to ‘desperate or dangerous debts’ to keep a roof over their head, borrowing money via credit cards, overdrafts and other sources.

A joint survey by Shelter and YouGov, carried out in April, discovered that of the almost 1.6 million private tenants falling into the low-earner category, approximately 511,000, representing a third of the people, had borrowed money during the past year to keep on top of their rent.

Broken down, an estimated 299,000 had used an overdraft and 249,000 borrowed via a credit card. Additionally, 57,000 took a loan from a bank or building society, while an estimated 42,000 turned to a payday loan. On top of this, nearly 100,000 tenants used money from parents that they had to pay back, while 91,000 borrowed from other family members or friends to tide themselves over.

Analysing government data, Shelter reports that 800,000 tenants were unable to save £10 a month, because of high rents.

Shelter’s Anne Baxendale said: “No family should have to choose between relying on their credit card to keep up with the rent, or moving miles away from their jobs and schools to find a home they can afford. Right now, there’s nowhere for these people to turn, but it doesn’t have to be this way.”

In other news, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) reported that the UK housing market is continuing to slow down because of ‘stagnant’ buyer demand and general election uncertainty.